In the way that FBI agents have 'go bags' ready at all times, I have my toiletry bag ready at all times. It sits on a shelf in my room, ready for me to grab and go, which makes things really easy when I'm packing for holidays and work trips and even quick weekend trips like the one I just returned from.
And along with my usual weeklong holidays (France, Turks & Caicos, Italy) and work trips (North Dakota) this past year and a half has been full of short weekend jaunts and local trips (hello, Miami, Toronto, Philadelphia, DC, Boston, Provincetown, and Philly again) which has made my little ready-to-go toiletry bag all the more convenient. And, I have some plans to do a few more weekend trips soon (including a long weekend in New Orleans) and a longer trip to a tropical island so having this guy waiting on standby all the time is so practical and super convenient.
I have several products that I use every single day and I like to collect sample size versions for travel. Purity face wash (by Philosophy) is my favorite morning cleanser because it's super gentle. Luckily, the bottle I have is refillable. Advanced Night Repair (by Estee Lauder) is my favorite serum and I got the little baby size free in a gift bag and again, this one is refillable, which I love. St. Ives exfoliating wash is my other staple and little travel size versions are readily available at Target and Harmon so I never stress out about that particular product.
Beyond those three favorites, I also like to pack an oil cleanser, an eye cream, moisturizer, spot treatment, face mask, all purpose oil moisturizer, and of course, a toothbrush and toothpaste.
Because I only wash my hair twice a week, if I'm going on a weeklong holiday, I have zero incentive to bring a bottle of shampoo or conditioner. Instead, I like to bring little sample packets of shampoo and conditioner. The samples are usually generously sized and will allow for at least two washes, which is perfect. Similarly, instead of bringing a little tube of sunscreen, moisturizer, or eye cream, I like to bring sample packets. My skin isn't particularly sensitive so experimenting a little with products doesn't affect me adversely. Plus, these trips give me the opportunity to try out a new product and maybe discover a new favorite.
I should also mention that I have a travel toothbrush. There's nothing special about it; it's just permanently my travel toothbrush. I have a little cover for it - to keep germs off of it and keep the germs on the toothbrush off of my other stuff - and even though it's not a liquid, I keep it with my toiletries out of convenience and so that while I'm on the airplane or even the train, I can freshen up.
And I love my little case, even though it's looking a little worse for the wear, because it's unique. If you've ever traveled with fellow contact lens wearers, then you know that 99% of the time, there is a lens wearer with the same exact case that you have and you have to store them on opposite sides of the room to prevent accidental lens swapping. So far, no one else I've traveled with has this particular case and I love that because I never confuse my contacts with anyone else's.